Amy Sadao is leaving her post as director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania to “pursue new opportunities and personal projects,” according to a release. John McInerney, executive director of Penn’s Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, has been named interim director of the museum.
During her tenure, Sadao increased museum attendance and grew its digital reach. The ICA presented 51 exhibitions of underrepresented artists under her leadership, and she developed the museum’s department of public engagement. She said in a statement that one of her goals as she departs is “a book project on art and community that will examine the efforts to redefine the evolving roles and responsibilities of museums across the country.”
“It has been a privilege to work alongside ICA’s Board of Overseers and a spectacularly talented staff. Together, we extended ICA’s bold history as a place to explore the unknown, the poetic, and presented contemporary artists’ affective and political contributions as an admission-free kunsthalle,” Sadao said in a release, adding that, as director, “I was guided by questions of what a feminist, anti-racist, queer-and trans-embracing contemporary museum would look, feel, and act like. It’s only right that a new director creates the next strategic plan. I am excited to experience the next iteration of ICA.”
Vice provost for faculty Anita Allen will chair the provost’s advisory committee for the selection of the next ICA director. The committee, comprised of staff, faculty, artists, alumni, and members of the museum’s board of overseers, includes, among others, Lynn Marsden-Atlass, university curator and executive director of the Arthur Ross Gallery; Michael Leja, professor of the history of art; and Aaron Levy, executive director and senior curator of the Slought Foundation.